behind the eight ball

Mullins, Bill Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Thu Oct 13 18:26:40 UTC 2005

OED has 1932 for "eight ball" and for "behind the eight ball"

"McKechnie To Need Luck As Braves' Pilot" (by NEA Service)
Wisconsin | Sheboygan | The Sheboygan Press | 1929-12-19 Sports Sec. p 1
col 4.
"Bill figures he can finish behind the eight ball with any kind of a
ball team, even the present one, so there is no harm in trying out young
talent as there is nothing to lose beyond last place."

New York Times; Jul 19, 1931; Magazine Sec p. 18 col 4.
"Behind the Eight Ball -- In a tough spot."

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